Invisible Crime and Other “Simple Realities”

Gun Rights

Viewers were reminded of the disturbing disconnect between the Biden Administration and everyday Americans on seeing Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, interviewed on television not too long ago. In an April 7 sit-down with MSNBC host Jen Psaki, Biden’s former White House Press Secretary, a smiling Buttigieg pooh-poohed the notion that there’s been a crime renaissance in the District of Columbia:

So, we need to talk about the reality. Again, there is a lot of funding and a lot of energy going into telling a different story, especially on ideological news outlets and online. But the simple facts and the simple reality are right here staring us in the face, including the fact that I can safely walk my dog in the Capitol today, in a way that you couldn’t do when, when we all got here.

Who is he kidding?  Did he forget to mention that he has been guarded by a taxpayer-funded, armed security detail since he arrived in D.C. as a member of the Biden administration?  In 2021, for instance, Buttigieg was mocked after a video surfaced that appeared to show his security staff unloading a bicycle from an SUV so that Buttigieg could pedal to a nearby Cabinet meeting, while still being trailed by a pair of SUVs.

The reality staring less exalted folk in the face is that the violent crime rate in the nation’s capital jumped by 39% in the last year. On homicides alone, the Washington Post states that D.C. “recorded more homicides in 2023 than in any year since 1997, giving the District the fifth-highest murder rate among the nation’s biggest cities.” The number of robberies, car thefts, and other thefts in the District also increased dramatically between 2020 and 2023.  

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The very day that Buttigieg sweepingly dismissed D.C. crime as an invention of “ideological” propaganda, police reported a different dog-walker had been robbed and stabbed by six juvenile males in the same Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Crime updates for the area are posted on an X (formerly Twitter) account, Capitol Hill Crime @capitolcaucusreport, which shows armed robberies and other violent incidents are far from uncommon. Rising crime has become such a pressing issue that Charles Allen, the D.C. councilmember responsible for the neighborhood, is currently facing a recall campaign that cites the upswing in violent and other crime as the reason for the recall effort.

Buttigieg works at the Department of Transportation office in the Navy Yard district, another crime hotspot. A newspaper article published before Buttigieg’s interview described the Navy Yard neighborhood as a “crime-ridden war zone.” The “dangers have become so prevalent that some congressional aides will take an Uber to work rather than risk the half-mile journey to their [Capitol Hill] office. Residents say it has become a ‘war zone’ over the last four years… ‘I left Navy Yard and left D.C. because of the rapid and drastic increase in crime,’” one senior legislative assistant told the newspaper. A long-time resident quoted in the article said, “We don’t feel safe in our own home despite being less than a 10-minute walk to the U.S. Capitol… This area should set the beacon of safety and freedom for the country, but instead it has unfortunately devolved into rampant crime and chaos.”

An ABC News report titled, Hectic day of robberies and police chases in DC’s Navy Yard fuel mounting safety concerns, published a few days before Buttigieg’s interview, tells much the same story, detailing a police manhunt and building lockdown along with several robberies that allegedly occurred in the area in the course of a single day.

Even MSNBC, the same news network that ran the Buttigieg interview, featured an opinion piece early this year on how outlier D.C. is bucking the national trend of falling violent crime rates. “Homicides spiked by 35% in the district, and overall violent crime rose, as well – by 39% – even as it largely declined elsewhere.” 

All this has somehow escaped Buttigieg’s notice, and as improbably, that of his interviewer. Ms. Psaki failed to challenge or contest Buttigieg’s statements – hardly surprising, perhaps, given her history of spinning similar whoppers on behalf of President Joe Biden. 

The bigger picture (beyond man’s-security-detail-obstructs-views-of-neighborhood-crime) is that heading into election season, one can expect even more unbelievable presentations of something easily rebuttable as “simple facts,” accompanied by the dismissal of actual reality as falsehoods peddled by “ideological news outlets,” political opponents, or discontented citizens.

In the past, Joe Biden’s ludicrous campaign statements on guns and the Second Amendment included claims that bans on “assault” weapons and magazines that can “hold multiple bullets in them” are entirely compatible with the Second Amendment, that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to bear arms, that “150 million people have been killed since 2007” in America by guns, and, of course, “I support the Second Amendment.” 

To quote a 2020 NRA-ILA alert, with the election year upon us, “it is time again for gun control advocates’ quadrennial tradition – dishonestly attempting to convince voters that a brazenly anti-gun presidential ticket does not pose a threat to gun owners.”

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